What is Content Marketing? and is it different than blogging?
Blogging has grown up. Most B2B marketing folks refer to it as Content Marketing now. (If you are really interested in why the name change, I explain it here)
Content marketing is the process of putting content (text, words, articles, etc.) online in an effort to attract attention and site visitors. The end-goal of course, is to sell something, whether it is a product, service or clicks on ads. Sounds simple? Well, it is… but like most things, the devil is in the details.
The key to successful content marketing is providing an ongoing supply of valuable information to your target audience. This information can be articles, videos, podcasts or infographics (informational graphics generally highlighting trends or statistics). Here are some tips based on our experience…
- Stay Focused… on your goals
When you build your strategy, make sure you clearly outline your goals and then put all your energy into content that aligns with them. Don’t get caught up writing content that sounds and looks impressive, unless aligns with your goal(s).
- Include the Sales Team (no groaning!)
If you’re a B2B company, make sure you include some folks from the sales team in this effort. With out them, your efforts are pointless and they can save you a lot of time. They know their buyers and they probably have a really good idea on what type of content their buyers and influencers want. Read our article on integrating marketing and sales
- Know your Audience
You absolutely must understand who your target audience is, (buyers, influencers, IT, HR, etc.), what questions they are asking and what drives them. Analytics can help you fine tune this knowledge but, you’ve got to know your audience if you are going to create content that they find valuable.
- Consistently Produce
You must consistently produce good content. One or two great articles aren’t enough. If you want to build readership (ie. followship), you need to continue to provide your target audience with new content.
- Produce Quality Content
You can’t just write fluff. The information you provide needs to be valuable to your readers. Think of it this way,… there are between 45-50 billion web pages at the time of this post, according to worldwidewebsize.com, a lot of it is good… really good. You’re content better be good too.
- Don’t Sell
Content marketing is not about selling and repeating your messaging. You already have a company website and well, it’s not that interesting unless your visitors is already interested. Content marketing is about providing valuable information, elevating your image and worth, and building relationships. Read our article on the altruistic nature of social media marketing.
There are a couple ways in which you can successfully leverage content marketing including publishing on your company website or building a niche website (micro-blog) aimed at a specific audience or audience segments. For B2B companies you have to (this is an absolute must) integrated your efforts with your sales team.
We work with companies to help them determine the best strategy, outline proven processes, implement and even provide ongoing management and maintenance.